The exhibition “Inertia” will feature Barry’s mixed media drawings of historic civil rights events as well as images of the Black Lives Matter movement. He will be on hand to discuss the work in an artist talk at 4 p.m. on Sept. 14. A reception will follow from 5 to 7 p.m.
“My artwork comes from both a compulsion to create and a need to make sense of the world around me,” Barry has said. “This particular installation features work built around the theme of social justice. Initially, the drive and motivation behind these pieces was purely therapeutic. Although multiple mediums were used, the approach was the same for each of them, working passionately and intuitively, with a focus mainly on releasing my pain, frustration and anger in a non-destructive way.”
He wants his work to prompt thought and conversation regarding humanity, social justice and race.
The exhibition is part of a yearlong series of programs supporting the UMSL Common Read, author James Baldwin’s novel “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Among the goals of the common read is to spark a wide-ranging conversation about diversity and inclusion in the St. Louis community as well as on the UMSL campus through a shared intellectual experience that connects students, faculty and staff to an important piece of literature.
Calvin’s exhibition “Chicago Cottages” will be similarly thought provoking. It is an accidental documentary video that came about when her assistant, Eve Kalugin, discovered a forgotten box of photographs in the artist’s files.
The images are of buildings and communities that been dissolved by encroaching real estate development.
“I actually made the photographs that comprise this body of work in the 1970s,” Calvin said. “I dragged my rented 4×5 view camera into the Pilsen area, inspired by a beloved professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Harold Allen, who lived in the area and was himself an architectural photographer. He understood the uniqueness of this architecture and certainly was familiar with the area. It was summer and hot and the children of the area were fascinated by what I was doing. So, each time I emerged from beneath the black cloth covering the camera, I was surrounded by a ‘mob’ of small, curious kids. I enjoyed the activity, and the lively quality of the neighborhood, which no longer exists thanks to ruthless gentrification.”
Gallery 210 will hold a reception for the artist from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 14.
Support from the Missouri Arts Council, Center for the Humanities and College of Arts and Sciences are helping make both “Inertia” and “Chicago Cottages” possible. Both exhibitions will remain on display through Dec. 7.